Guerlain Cruel Gardenia is part of the L'Art et La Matiere series. It is a unique take on the gardenia, intended to be, from the marketing notes "on the verge of cruelty." Well, ok, I didn't really find it cruel or even a little cross. Created in 2008 by Randa Hammami and Sylvaine Delacourte, the gardenia is intended to be smooth like velvet, and they veered away from all amazing bleu cheesiness of gardenia. Not everyone disagrees with that approach. The entire La Matiere series is all very posh and elegant, and above all, wearable. They have the beautiful vanilla base, no matter what the focus is - gourmand orientals. They are just beautiful. Even people who wind up not being a fan of a particular fragrance or this series usually find the fragrances lovely and easy to wear.
Notes of gardenia, soft white musk, damask rose, peach, neroli, violet, ylang-ylang, tonka bean, vanilla and sandalwood.
Reviews of Guerlain L'Art et La Matiere Cruel Gardenia
From Makeup Alley - "Oh sooo lovely! This is the first and only time gardenia has worked on me. Anytime I try to wear Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs I am overwhelmed. However, this has a barely-there whisper scent of the gardenia."
From Perfume Smellin' Things - "Coming back to the scent... after violet, a note appears that is not really ylang and definitely not gardenia, but something abstractly white and creamy. A flower that doesn't exist but should, because it smells so sublime. Despite the declared vanilla and sandalwood, the base notes maintain the non-sweet and failry cold feeling of the composition; if anything, the perfume becomes a little greener, on my skin. I would sum up my impressions in three words: Classic, Couture and Chanel. I am deeply in love with Cruel Gardenia, and am incredibly happy that Guerlain produced a perfume so timeless, so ageless, so void of any trendiness, so exquisitely elegant...even if it doesn't smell like a Guerlain at all."